Sunday, 14 May 2023

HR 8-Ton Double Deck Sheep Van in 7mm scale... Painted.


Built from one of Pete's recently released cast resin aids to wagon building, this example portrays a double-deck sheep van in Highland Railway rich red-oxide livery with the iron-work picked out in black. I've not come across any photos of these vans in HR days so the insignia is based on that of a cattle wagon on pg.164 of Peter Tatlow's "Highland Railway Carriages and Wagons". The wagon number, 1478, is taken from the tables in the book and is the best I can come up with. The 7"sole-bars are too narrow for the standard Highland wagon plate, so this feature has been dispensed with, identification is by means of the number painted on the lower plank.

I painted the wagon with Phoenix P436 Caledonian Wagon Oxide and picked out the iron-work with matt black, though this was brushed with a soft brush when dry to enable a slight sheen. The small number transfers are from HMRS sheet 20. The Society's own range of 7mm water-slide decals provided the 9" Highland insignia which adorn the top boards, ref: HRGS1. The roof, which can be removed for access to the interior, is painted off-white with talc added to the mix. Working screw-couplings are from CPL and have been chemically blackened.     

Photos of planked sheep vans in LMS days show that the ironwork was no longer painted black, the company's grey livery is applied all-over, including the buffer housings, though the brake gear and all below the sole bar is black.

Sunday, 23 April 2023

HR 8-ton double-decked sheep van body in 4mm scale.

HR 8-ton double decked sheep van with planked sides.

This is the 3D printed van body with the festoon of ingates and runners removed, it takes about a quarter of an hour to do this carefully with side cutters. You need to be careful with the delicate vertical rods that support the planks midway. Detail is remarkable as this is scaled down from my 7mm version. The floors and roof need to be added from Plastikard and the wheels and other components below the sole-bar sourced from the trade. Peter Tatlow's drawing on pg. 168 of his "Highland Railway Carriages and Wagons" should be used as a guide along with the photos on the following pages. Mark Tatlow tells me that he can supply an etched underframe for the wagon.

This is what you get...

The 3D print as it comes off the printer.

The sheep van is supplied as seen in the above photo with ingates and runners still attached. 

The van body is available now and if this format proves acceptable to 4mm modellers more HR wagon types will follow.

Price per wagon body is £10.95

Postage is £3.50 for 2nd Class or £4.20 for 1st Class, if you order more than one it's still the same. It won't go in an envelope so it'll have to go in a box by Small Parcel rate.

Contact Pete on...

07342 637 813

017687 71302


Monday, 17 April 2023

HR 8-ton double-deck sheep van with planked sides in 7mm scale.

Pete's new addition to his range of aids to scratch-building provides resin sides and ends for a Highland Railway 8-ton double-deck sheep wagon d.17. Parts from the trade, such as the W-irons, buffers, springs, axle boxes and couplings are easily sourced (see below). Additional items such as brake gear, roof and internal floors can be cut from sheet metal or Plastikard, so in a round-about way a multi-media kit is assembled to each individual modeller's choice. 

Price is £22.50 plus postage at cost £1.60 1st Class or £1.15 2nd Class.
Buy 2 or more and postage is Free.

Contact Pete on...
017687 71302
07342 617 813

This is what you get...

The openings are filled with a thin membrane. Hold to the light to identify the openings and push out the membrane with the back of a scalpel blade, it only takes a few minutes. The resin ingates (with holes in) are cut off with a fine coping saw and the bottom of the castings filed flat. 

In addition you'll need...

Slater's 3' 1" wagon wheels ref: 7120
Slater's 1mm Plastikard, 7mm planking and 1.5mm strip for battens.
W-irons from Slater's or The Highland Railway Society.
Springs, axle-boxes and buffers from Invertrain.
Couplings from CPL Products.
Horse hooks, brake lever guard and collarless hand rail knobs from 62C Models.

Close up showing the fine detail of the resin castings after the openings have been cleared of membrane. Horizontal bars are made from 0.6 nickle silver or brass wire glued into slots behind the openings.

The upper floor sits behind the horizontal midway strut and serves to brace the structure. The roof is made from 0.4mm nickle silver sheet, rolled to shape; Plastikard would provide an alternative solution.    

 Plastikard planking, with 1.5mm battens to provide a footing for livestock, overlays the 1mm thick lower floor. Note the interior detail and the horizontal wire glued in slots across the openings. The ends of the planks marked with an X have been trimmed slightly to seat the end.

View of the rocking-axle, coupling and buffer shanks, which run in slots behind the solebars. The floor under the axles has been built up 1.5mm with Plastikard sheet to provide the correct ride height.

The upper deck of the van is split in half along its length to allow it to seat in place; an overlay of battened Plastikard planking sits on top of this. The planked floors show up well in good light, even with the roof in place and are worth the effort of detailing them with battens.

 An additional, though optional detail, is the chain which holds the pin which locates in the holes in the rack to hold the brake lever down. 

Brake shoe and brake lever are fabricated from nickel silver sheet. Springs and axle-box are cast in white metal from my own master patterns in my workshop.
The sides and ends are glued together and 0.6 n/s wire is fastened behind the opening in slots provided; which may need enlarging a little. The ends of the horizontal planks need trimming slightly inside, to allow the sides to seat in place.

A short length of square section tube has been fashioned to make the brake lever hanger, this is glued into a shallow slot cut in the sole-bar.

The horizontal handrail is held in place by collarless handrail knobs which locate into holes in the uprights. The handrail is soldered to the knobs in situ then the assembly is removed, the wire bent to fit the outer holes and replaced.

The van is weighted up to 150g and runs superbly. Note the brake lever guard set just off-center on the sole-bar. There doesn't seem to be much room for a cast number plate on the narrow sole-bar, perhaps sheep vans made do with numbers painted on the lower horizontal boards.  

Monday, 27 March 2023

HR Wagon Plate Transfers in 7mm scale.

I think you'll agree that the number plates shown in these pictures set the wagons off a treat. Pete has produced a set of HR wagon plate transfers to complement his growing series of wagon sides and ends, these are available to modellers now. The transfer strips measure 180mm x 16mm and provide water slide-transfers for 10 different pairs of plates to suit the following wagons...

8-ton ballast wagon...2525, 2530

16-ton loco coal...2773

Jones 4-plank open...1462, 1470

Swivel cradle wagon... 908, 910

8-ton double-deck sheep wagon with planked sides...1477, 1490 (sides and ends to be released 4/23)

Drummond 8-ton 4-plank coal wagon...950  (sides and ends to be released soon)

I have mounted the transfers on the flat back of Lochgorm Kits' etched wagon plates. These were painted black, then I used Humbrol DecalFix to help fix them and added a coat of varnish. When dry I trimmed the edges with a scalpel and glued the plates to the wagon. I also tried fixing the transfers to 0.4 brass sheet and cutting the plate to shape with the transfer in place and this worked well too. Plastikard would also provide a suitable backing plate.

It is possible to change a digit by using a scalpel and substituting one of the small numbers from the HR Society's wagon transfer sheet HRGS1, which should widen the usefulness of this sheet.

Price per set of 10 pairs of transfers is... £6.00 plus postage at cost 0.75 for 2nd Class or £1.10 for 1st Class.

tel/text...07342 637 813

7 Ton Swivel Cradle Wagon, detail of number plate.

Swivel Cradle Wagon built by the author from one of his own aids to scratch building.

8Ton Jones 4-plank open wagon, close up of number plate.

General view of Jones open wagon with wagon plate. Built from one of Pete's sets of sides and ends, which provide modellers with a useful aid to scratch building.

Monday, 6 March 2023

Loco Coal Wagon 1657


Photo from Peter Tatlow's book on HR Carriages and Wagons.

I built a second 16Ton Loco Coal Wagon from my own resin cast sides and ends recently and the photo below shows the resulting model. I intend to run it with the first one I built, 2773, as they always look better as a pair. The photo above was used to make the model as accurate as possible. Both wagons appear on page 154 of Peter Tatlow's, HR Carriages and Wagons, an indispensable book for Highland wagon builders.

 Details of building these wagons are available in an earlier post on this blog for April 2022. 

If you fancy building one yourself there's only one left now, it's at sale price too ( See Below) and it's the last one.

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Swivel Cradle Wagon complete

7 Ton Swivel Cradle Wagon photographed in LMS days.
Photo HRSoc Collection/Am Baile

Built from my own "Aids to Scratchbuilding", the resin castings for this wagon include the sides, ends and the swivel cradle. The upright stanchions are white metal castings from my own workshop. Buffers, axle boxes and springs are commercial castings from Invertrain, other parts are made from n/s strip. The turnbuckles and fastening chains are from CPL Products.


The load fastening chain and turnbuckle are anchored to an eye bolt on top of the metal corner reinforcement. On the deck can be seen the angle-irons that restrict the rotation of the swivel cradle. There's a sledge hammer that's been left on the deck too.

An metal eye serves to attach the upright stanchion to the corner plate by means of a short chain.

Running as a pair, No.908 which is a known number and 907, which is probable. 


Castings for the swivel cradle wagon are Sold Out now, however Pete has plans to produce more resin sides and ends for Highland Railway wagons. The first of these sets of castings will be for a...

Drummond 8-ton 4-plank mineral wagon to HR d. 10

If you yourself would like to suggest a subject for Pete to include in his range please let him know, I'm sure he'd be pleased to oblige.


Saturday, 21 January 2023

Small Goods running at CDOGG

Resplendent in Drummond II unlined green livery HR27 runs through the station on the club layout today with a short train of Highland stock. It was quiet in the clubroom this morning which gave me the opportunity to test the engine for over an hour on the circuit. Later I added a few more wagons that were brought in, though it was never a test of strength. I think it would manage a dozen wagons. I was  pleased with the engine's performance, it ran smoothly and gave no trouble at all. 

You can see some of the detail inside the cab in this rear view, the crew are my own sculpture, specially designed for this type of open cab. The Loco Coal wagon is built from a set of resin sides and ends which I produced myself. The wagon is completed with a mix of commercially available underframe parts and scratch built brake gear. 

The club has some great model makers and their buildings and other detail in the scenic section of the club layout make for a realistic scene.

Highland Railway 6-wheel 20 ton goods brake van, built from an etched "aid to scratch building", which I had made; the nickle silver sheet included all the hard-to-make-yourself parts.